Bergen Co. detectives dupe fugitives with phony prizes

Bergen County law enforcement has been using the ole' "bait and hook" routine to get accused criminals back into custody.

As part of "Operation Bait and Hook," detectives mailed hundreds of fliers to wanted fugitives promising prizes, such as lunches with NFL players and free Nintendo Wiis in exchange for attending a presentation on alterative energy vehicles. The accused criminals were instructed to show up at the Meadowlands to win their prizes.

Flier recipients were also told to log onto a Web site or call a toll free number to RSVP, enabling police to track locations of fugitives not tricked into showing up. Perhaps adding insult to injury was the Web address given to RSVP. Fugitives were directed to log onto a site called SLPM Inc., the initials of Sheriff Leo P. McGuire.

According to police, warrants had been out for some of the fugitives for more than 10 years on charges such as sex assault and burglary.

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